Friday, April 26, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Promises War on Fossil Fuel Extraction if Elected

From the Washington Examiner:
The United States needs more oil and natural gas production on federal land and in coastal waters.

Consider the enormous demand for energy. The Energy Information Administration expects demand will increase 6.3% through 2050. Wind and solar energy are projected to meet an increasing share of energy demand, but hydrocarbons are still expected to provide 79% of America’s energy needs in 2050. 
The argument for oil and gas production, however, is not just about meeting the increasing need for energy. It has been an engine for job creation and economic growth, and it has improved the lives of millions of people. 
But the politics of energy production are driven, to this day, by the proposition that fossil fuels pollute the environment and depress the use of renewables competing with oil and gas. It is a myopic view, reflected in the keep-it-in-the-ground movement that wants to shut down oil and gas production. 
It underpins presidential aspirant Elizabeth Warren’s threat to ban all fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and in coastal waters. She pledged recently that if elected she would sign an executive order on her first day in office for a “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases.”
Read more of this article by clicking here. 

Oil and Gas Workers Among the Best Paid in America

by Nicole Jacobs, Energy in Depth

Thanks to America’s energy renaissance, the energy and utility sector has the highest median salary of any industry in the S&P 500, with the typical worker at one energy company earning almost $200,000 annually, according to the Wall Street Journal.
An analysis of annual pay disclosures by the Journal found that Phillips 66, Anadarko Petroleum Corp, and ExxonMobil topped the list of oil and gas companies, paying their median workers $196,407, $183,445, and $171,375 respectively.
For comparison, the median wage for an American with an advanced degree is $77,324, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay in the energy and utility sector hit $117,000, the Journal reported.
Higher wages are a result of booming American energy production.
The analysis attributed high wages to a tight labor market driven in part by the shale revolution. Between 2017-2018, U.S. oil production increased by 17 percent, while the two top-paying oil and gas companies boosted their median salary by 15 percent.
The Energy Information Administration predicts the United States will increase production by an additional 13 percent in 2019, indicating no end in sight for American production potential. Earlier this year, the Permian Basin surpassed Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar to become the most productive oilfield in the world.
The energy industry is fueling job growth.
 The energy sector isn’t just boosting salaries, it’s also employing more Americans. The energy industry leads all sectors in creating and supporting high-quality jobs, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report. The industry added 152,000 new jobs in 2018, representing 7 percent of all job creation in the United States.
That report, commissioned by the Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials, also revealed that the fuels sector, which includes oil and natural gas exploration and extraction, employed 1,127,600 workers in 2018, an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous year.
As the report notes:
“[O]il and gas production added the most new jobs in the traditional energy sectors as efficiencies and increased prices brought thousands of workers back into the oil and gas fields of Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Employment in oil and gas extraction and support services is at its highest level since its recent high in the fall of 2014.”
The energy sector is becoming more diverse.
As wages rise, the industry is also becoming more diverse. Women are increasingly joining the energy industry, and in more senior and highly technical roles, according to a recent report from Oil & Gas IQ:
“[D]espite the global concern around the lack of female representation in energy, the status quo is finally being challenged. More women are claiming to work in a technical role than ever before, contrary to popular belief. There is also better representation of females in management, as well as a strong count in the younger age groups…”
Conclusion
The Wall Street Journal analysis adds to a growing body of evidence of the very real impact the American energy renaissance is having for oil and natural gas workers across the country. As U.S. production continues to soar, American energy companies are thriving, boosting our economy, and providing high-quality jobs for more Americans.

Hundreds Turn Out for Ohio Valley Regional Oil and Gas Expo

From WTOV 9:
The Ohio Valley Regional Oil and Gas Expo may have wrapped up, but the opportunities are endless.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Carnes Center to learn more about the oil and gas field industry reps say Belmont County still leads.

"Belmont County is still No. 1 in activity,” said Mike Chadsey with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. They are seeing a lot of really good wells, really smart wells being drilled and a lot of gas being produced."
Click here to view the original article as well as a video news report. 

Latest JobsOhio Report: $74 Billion Invested in Ohio Since 2011 Due to Shale

From the Times Reporter:
Investment in the energy-rich shale sector in eastern Ohio continues to grow, reaching $74 billion since 2011, according to a report commissioned by JobsOhio. 
The quarterly report, done by Cleveland State University’s Energy Policy Center at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, shows that about two-thirds of that investment has been in drilling, land acquisition, building roads and other expenses tied to the “upstream” portion of oil and gas production. 
The rest has been spent on activities such as collecting and gathering the oil and gas along with transmission lines and investments in natural-gas power plants and other uses. 
“The landscape for American energy looks vastly different now than it did just five or 10 years ago, and that is largely due to the resources being unlocked in the Ohio Valley,” said Matt Cybulski, director of energy and chemicals at JobsOhio, in a statement. 
The study represents investment through the first half of 2018. It comes just weeks after researchers at IHS Markit released estimates that show by 2040, the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will supply 45% of U.S. natural gas production. That’s up from 31% this year.
Click here to read more. 

Energy Transfer's Sloppy Record Draws Rebuke from PA Legislator

From Stateimpact Pennsylvania:
Few legislators are more supportive of Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry than state Sen. Gene Yaw (Bradford), who serves as the Republican chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. 
However, when he addressed oil and gas industry representatives Wednesday at the Upstream PA Conference in State College, Yaw called out Energy Transfer for being irresponsible. It’s the company behind the embattled Mariner East project– a set of export pipelines moving natural gas liquids through the southern part of the state. 
“This particular company, in my opinion, rode roughshod over people,” Yaw said in his remarks. “They haven’t explained what’s gone on. They haven’t addressed issues.” 
The Mariner East project has resulted in dozens of violations for spills of drilling mud, which has contaminated private well water. Last year, state utility regulators temporarily shut down one of the pipelines, after sinkholes opened up in a Chester County neighborhood. Energy Transfer is now under criminal investigation by the attorneys general of Chester and Delaware counties, as well as State Attorney General Josh Shapiro. 
Yaw said Energy Transfer is damaging the reputations of more responsible pipeline operators, citing Williams, which recently completed the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, an expansion of its natural gas transmission line system.
The story of Energy Transfer racking up spills and violations is a familiar one to Ohio residents, as the company had many of the same issues while constructing the Rover pipeline, including spills, disputes over property restoration, and the demolition of a historic building.  You know their issues have gotten bad when it's enough to draw "friendly fire" from a drilling-friendly legislator like Yaw.  Read the rest of the article by clicking here. 

Pin Oak Energy Acquires 43,000 Utica Shale Acres in PA

From Business Journal Daily:
Pin Oak Energy Partners, which last year acquired 64,000 acres of leasehold rights in the northern trend of the Utica shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania, has expanded its footprint. 
Pin Oak said in a statement that it has closed a deal with SWEPI LP, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, for approximately 43,000 Utica acres in Mercer, Crawford, and Venango counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. The acquisition expands the company’s leaseholds to 60,000 acres in Mercer County, 5,500 acres in Crawford County and 7,100 acres in Venango County. 
The deal increases Pin Oak’s position to 167,000 net deep acres across the entire Utica, with 99% of those acres held by production.

“This transaction further bolsters the company’s deep Utica rights in the oil and wet gas window of the play,” said Mark Van Tyne, Pin Oak’s chief business development officer, in a statement. “The fact that the majority of the acreage is held by production affords us time to more thoroughly evaluate the region as we high grade locations for economic development.”
Read more by clicking right here. 

Ohio Lawmakers Proposing Massive Bailout of Nuclear Plants

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Investment is more likely to happen if Ohio has a comprehensive energy policy that creates an equal playing field for all energy sources," said Bill Stanley of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. 
The surcharge would add $2.50 to monthly residential bills while commercial customers and businesses would pay more. Industrial users, for example, would see a $250 per month increase. 
About half of the money from the surcharge would go to the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo and the Perry plant near Cleveland that produce 14 percent of the state's electricity. The rest would go to expanding Ohio's clean energy sector. 
Both plants are slated to close by 2021 unless their operator, FirstEnergy Solutions, can find a buyer or the government eases the cost of operating them. 
The plants — like many of the nation's aging nuclear reactors — are expensive to operate and maintain and struggle to compete with cheaper natural gas plants and renewable energy.
Read on by clicking here. 

Utica Rig Count Down Two on Latest Report



New permits issued last week: 6 (Previous week: 13)  -7
Total horizontal permits issued: 3062 (Previous week: 3059 +3
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2574 (Previous week: 2571)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 16)  -2

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Permitting Up, Rig Count Consistent in Utica Shale Last Week




New permits issued last week: 13 (Previous week: 8)  +5
Total horizontal permits issued: 3059 (Previous week: 3046 +13
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2571 (Previous week: 2568)  +3
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2179)  +-0
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 16)  +-0

Progress Slowly Continues Towards Construction of Belmont County Cracker Plant

From NGI:
PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Co. continue to work towards sanctioning the multi-billion dollar ethane cracker proposed for Southeast Ohio, a project spokesman said this week.

A final investment decision (FID) has been in the offing since 2015, when PTTGC committed $ 100 million for preliminary design work on the facility and initially expected to have a decision by 2017. The timeline was later pushed back to 2018 and passed. decision is imminent, pieces continue to fall into place that suggest the plant will ultimately get built, sources said.

Project spokesman Dan Williamson said PTTGC is currently focused on selecting an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm to build the massive facility. The recently contracted with a local business to remove trees from the proposed site. major regulatory approvals, having secured its air permit late last year from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Click here to read more (subscription required).

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Permitting Picks Back Up a Bit in the Utica Shale



New permits issued last week: 8 (Previous week: 0)  +8
Total horizontal permits issued: 3046 (Previous week: 3042 +4
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2568 (Previous week: 2559)  +9
Total horizontal wells producing: 2179 (Previous week: 2167)  +12
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 16)  +-0

Division of Oil and Gas Resources Chief Predicts Utica Drilling Consistency

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Oil and gas companies have drilled more than 2,500 horizontal shale wells in Ohio, causing the state’s oil and natural gas production to surge. 
Drillers came to Ohio planning to explore the Utica and Marcellus shales beneath the eastern half of the state, but most horizontal drilling — sometimes called fracking — has concentrated in the Utica Shale deposits in counties near the Ohio River. 
In the early days of shale drilling, the average well was 6,000 feet deep and 4,000 feet long. Now, the average well is being drilled 8,500 to 10,000 feet deep and 12,000 feet long; some wells are as long as 20,000 feet, Simmers said. 
Last year, 358 new horizontal shale wells were drilled, according to the Division of Oil and Gas, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources. 
“These numbers, we project, are going to be pretty consistent for the next two years,” Simmers said.
Read on by clicking here. 

BlackGold Closes Royalty Investment in the Utica Shale

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BlackGold Capital Management LP (“BlackGold”), a private credit investment firm focused on the energy industry, today announced the acquisition of a portfolio of Overriding Royalty Interests (ORRI) in the Utica shale of Ohio. The acquisition was completed in conjunction with co-investors.

The ORRI will provide investors a portion of the revenue from natural gas production. BlackGold has also partnered with an established management team with a track record of investing in ORRIs.

“The energy sector is in a multi-year transition and the industry remains under stress,” said Adam Flikerski, co-founder of BlackGold. “We believe there is strong demand for us to fill a gap left by banks and provide capital to middle market energy companies, as evidenced by our robust pipeline of funding opportunities.”

Erik Dybesland, co-founder of BlackGold added, “Given the demand for capital in the energy industry and traditional sources curtailed, we believe that our platform provides the skills necessary to source opportunities, provide creative solutions for companies, and deliver solid outcomes for our institutional partners.”

BlackGold Capital Management, founded in 2006, has invested over $7.5 billion in both public and private energy companies, across upstream, midstream, and oil field services.

About BlackGold
BlackGold Capital Management LP is a leading investment firm focused on opportunistic catalyst-driven investments in the energy industry. The firm’s team has decades of experience and expertise in energy with extensive long-standing industry relationships. Founded in 2006, BlackGold seeks to generate compelling returns for its investors by employing a deep fundamental research-driven approach in analyzing energy assets and capital structures. The firm manages approximately $1 billion in capital across its investment platform which includes public and private commingled strategies as well as managed accounts. KKR & Co. LP, a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, holds a 24.9% passive minority interest in BlackGold Capital Management LP. For more information, please visit www.BlackGoldCap.com.

Rover Pipeline Tax Revenue Having Positive Impact in Ohio

From the Sentinel-Tribune:
The Rover Pipeline paid more than $4 million to Wood County in annual property taxes for 2018, with more than $69 million paid across the state, according to a press release issued by the company. 
Across the full four-state project, the pipeline paid nearly $73 million in annual property taxes, and is expected to pay more than $180 million across the entire route in property taxes for 2019. This takes into account the full operations of the pipeline going service in the last quarter of 2018.

The property taxes generated by the pipeline are paid to the local taxing authorities, which are then responsible for distributing the money based on the individual taxing guidelines set forth by each taxing jurisdiction, or county.
That article also notes:
Additionally, Rover has donated more than $375,000 to a variety of local non-profits and emergency management associations along the route, which includes the Ann Arbor YMCA, the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Ohio 4H Youth.
Read the whole article by clicking here.

And from Richland Source:
The Shelby City Schools District is attempting one last Hail Mary to build a new Pre-K through eighth grade building in the district. 
After failing three times in 12 months to pass a bond issue in the district to fund a new facility, Shelby City Schools has one last option to build a new building without needing any additional taxpayer money. 
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) is still considering funding half of a new building in Shelby if the district can come up with their half - which could be possible thanks to the Rover Pipeline.
Click here to read the rest of this article.

ODNR Posts April 2019 Shale Activity Maps





Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Permitting Grinds to a Halt in Utica Shale



New permits issued last week: 0 (Previous week: 5)  -5
Total horizontal permits issued: 3042 (Previous week: 3042 +-0
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2559 (Previous week: 2554)  +5
Total horizontal wells producing: 2167 (Previous week: 2167)  +-0
Utica rig count: 16 (Previous week: 15)  +1